Wednesday, 26 March 2014

David Beckham plans stadium for Miami

British footballer David Beckham has unveiled the first images for his Major League Soccer stadium to be built in Miami. With a price tag of USD 200 million, the development was designed as a collaborative proposal by Miami architectural practice Arquitectonica and 360 Architecture of Kansas City. Its 25,000-seat arena would make it the league’s third largest venue to date, in a public space complemented by restaurants, shops and an open-air plaza suitable for film screenings and concerts. Pending planning approval, the stadium is expected to be completed by March 2018.

Images courtesy of Visualhouse

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul, by Zaha Hadid

The Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), a cultural hub designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for the historic centre of Seoul, was inaugurated on 21 March 2014 by hosting Korean Fashion Week. Conceived as an architectural landscape that revolves around the ancient city wall and the cultural artefacts discovered during archaeological excavations preceding its construction, the DDP features exhibition and convention halls, a design museum, a library, an education centre, a media centre, and archival areas.

Enveloping the DDP, a new 30,000 square-metre park was added as a new place for leisure and relaxation within the busy urban fabric of the Dongdaemun district. The park’s layout and design reinterprets the spatial concepts of traditional Korean garden design, namely layering, horizontality, and a blurring of the spatial concepts of interior and exterior.

Photography by Virgile Simon Bertrand, courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Shigeru Ban wins 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has been announced as the winner of the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize. Known for designing elegant and innovative architectural solutions for private clients and for victims of natural disaster situations alike, the 56 year old architect has developed a remarkable career.

Shigeru Ban

Ban studied architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and at Cooper Union in New York City. In addition to working from his offices in Tokyo, Paris and New York, he has travelled the world to work with local victims and volunteers to build disaster relief projects. In 1995, he founded VAN: Voluntary Architects’ Network, a non-governmental organization that provided assistance in rebuilding areas of the globe (such as Japan, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, China, Haiti, Italy, New Zealand, and the Philippines) that had been damaged by earthquakes, tsunami, hurricanes, and war. To address such complex situations, Ban has used materials such as bamboo, fabric, paper, and composites of recycled paper fibre and plastics.

Shigeru Ban lectures and teaches at architecture schools around the world and is currently a professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design. He will receive his prize (consisting of a bronze medallion and a USD 100,000 grant) at a ceremony on 13 June 2014 at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Paper Emergency Shelter for Haiti, 2010, Port-au-Prince, Haiti 

Paper Church, 1995, Kobe, Japan (photograph by Hiroyuki Hirai)

Cardboard Cathedral, 2013, Christchurch, New Zealand (photo by Stephen Goodenough)

Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2010, France (photo by Didier Boy de la Tour)

Curtain Wall House, 1995, Tokyo, Japan (photo by Hiroyuki Hirai)

Photographs courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Title of Work Spring/Summer 2014 Accessories

New York-based men’s accessories brand Title of Work (that we introduced to The Style Examiner readers back in November 2012 – see HERE) has just made available in stores two collections for Spring/Summer 2014. Herewith, The Style Examiner’s edit of what we believe to be a selection of the most successful and representative pieces for this season.

The ‘Mapping’ collection comprises neckties, bowties, cufflinks, tie bars, pocket squares and scarves featuring geometric patterns and designs inspired by topographical tools, land graphs, nautical maps, and astrological symbols. Following the anchoring creative ethos and the conceptual treatment evidenced in previous Title of Work collections, for this range designer Jonathan Meizler collaborated with aerial photographer Fridrik Orn Hjaltested to incorporate shots of Icelandic landscapes onto pocket squares and scarves. In addition, sterling silver, black diamonds and Japanese ‘miyuki’ beads were used to enliven a sombre colour palette through painstakingly detailed and subtle hand-made patterns.

Continuing the appreciation for artisanal manufacturing methods, the Title of Work Spring/Summer 2014 ‘Exhibit A’ collection explores the role played by the influence of heritage and tradition in the creation of contemporary menswear. To achieve this, Meizler used archival fabric swatches produced in mills from Como, Italy, featuring classic patterns and colours such as plaids, greys and blacks, and reinterpreted them by injecting innovative pixelated and micro-dotted designs, as well as dashes of bright red, green, pink, cobalt and light blue.

Title of Work’s designs are available in Barneys New York, Holt Renfrew and Isetan in Japan, as well as online at

Images courtesy of Title of Work

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Glowing Results: The Body Shop Beautifying Oils

From personal experience gained over the years by trying on more skincare products than I can remember, I have realised that some of the most successful results that I have witnessed have been achieved by oils rather than serums or creams. However, not all skincare oils I have tested proved to have the same level of efficacy. As I had the opportunity to develop in my review of Rodin Olio Lusso back in January 2012 (see HERE), the secret of a successful face skin oil lies in ensuring that its ingredients are as natural as possible and thoroughly ground into microscopic molecules before being blended with a liquid base solution. The more fluid the resulting oil, the easier it is for the skin to absorb it and become hydrated without looking and feeling oily or shiny.

Photograph: iStock

While examining a few more skin oils over the recent months, I came across a product that, in addition to achieving very satisfactory results, it was also more economical than most. Advertised as suitable for face, body and hair, The Body Shop’s Beautifying Oils are made from a blend of nut oils, which include the brand’s own Community Fair Trade marula oil, and is available in 10 scent options, Chocomania, Cocoa Butter, Coconut, Mango, Moringa, Olive, Pink Grapefruit, Satsuma, Shea, and Strawberry.

Photograph © The Style Examiner / João Paulo Nunes

I started by trying out the Coconut oil but my first reaction was not exactly encouraging: the oil felt more viscous than I expected and the scent was too strong, which got me worried that my skin would look oily and smell of old-fashioned suntan lotion all day. In addition, when applied onto the skin, the shimmering effect was very visible, which didn’t improve my appreciation of the oils. However, within a minute or two, the skin had absorbed the oil and the scent had vanished almost completely, with the final look and feel being one of a more luminous, toned and hydrated skin. 

Even though The Body Shop’s Beautifying Oils are, in my view, not as effective as the likes of the Rodin Olio Lusso, they certainly do a good job and for a fraction of the price. And considering that, like with most skin oils, you only need to use a few drops each time you need to moisturise, the 100 millilitre bottle will last longer than expected. My verdict is that, if you are on the lookout for a good alternative to your skincare routine, these oils are most certainly worth considering.

Unless where otherwise specified images are courtesy of The Body Shop

Friday, 21 March 2014

Reiss Spring/Summer 2014 menswear

With longer, sunny days and blooming trees as irrevocable signs that warmer months are slowly arriving to the northern hemisphere, British high-street mid-market retailer Reiss unveiled its Spring/Summer 2014 menswear collection throughout its dozens of UK and international stores. Inspired by the old Hollywood glamour of the 1950s and 60s, as well as the hedonistic café culture and the art scene of Saint Tropez or the Provence, the collection features a wide range of relaxed separates made from cotton and linen juxtaposed with crisp cotton shirts and wool suiting in a colour palette of white, opal, navy, turquoise, beige, black, charcoal, lemon and pink that allows for tonal combinations.

Overall, for Spring/Summer 2014, Reiss has invested in a tailored and sophisticated silhouette for men that is evident in the fitted sleeves of shirts and coats, in the slim-cut legs of trousers, and in the cropped outerwear. Key pieces for the season include a belted safari leather jacket and a leather backpack that conjure, simultaneously, an idea of adventure and a sense of urbane masculinity.

Photographs courtesy of Reiss